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HDTV Reaches the Tipping Point

Sales of HD television sets will surpass SD units (analog and digital) globally in this calendar year for the first time and, despite the dubious economy, the upward trend likely will continue for at least the next five years. So says industry analyst iSuppli in a new report.

"For most consumers, they don't exactly know what [HD] is, but they know they want it," the study concludes. According to the El Segundo, Calif. firm, HD has "become commonplace in many regions of the world" as prices continue to decrease, HD channels grow, and Blu-ray Disc players and the disc format's 1080p packaged content continue to emerge.

HD unit shipments are predicted to grow to more than 241 million by 2012, based on a compound annual growth rate of 20 percent—up from about 97 million units in 2007. Shipments of non-HD sets unit will decline to about 23 million units by 2012 (down from nearly 115 million units in 2007), according to iSuppli.

Earlier this month in a related analysis, iSuppli simply dubbed HD "the new SD."